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Torah Reading for Chukat

Torah Reading for Chukat

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Parshat Chukat
Shabbat, 7 Tammuz, 5777
1 July, 2017
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2nd Portion: (Numbers 19:18 - 20:6)
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Numbers Chapter 19

18A ritually clean person shall take the hyssop and dip it into the water and sprinkle it on the tent, on all the vessels, and on the people who were in it, and on anyone who touched the bone, the slain person, the corpse, or the grave.   יחוְלָקַ֨ח אֵז֜וֹב וְטָבַ֣ל בַּמַּ֘יִם֘ אִ֣ישׁ טָהוֹר֒ וְהִזָּ֤ה עַל־הָאֹ֨הֶל֙ וְעַל־כָּל־הַכֵּלִ֔ים וְעַל־הַנְּפָשׁ֖וֹת אֲשֶׁ֣ר הָֽיוּ־שָׁ֑ם וְעַל־הַנֹּגֵ֗עַ בַּעֶ֨צֶם֙ א֣וֹ בֶֽחָלָ֔ל א֥וֹ בַמֵּ֖ת א֥וֹ בַקָּֽבֶר:
19The ritually clean person shall sprinkle on the unclean person on the third day and on the seventh day, and he shall cleanse him on the seventh day, and he shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and he shall become ritually clean in the evening.   יטוְהִזָּ֤ה הַטָּהֹר֙ עַל־הַטָּמֵ֔א בַּיּ֥וֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁ֖י וּבַיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִ֑י וְחִטְּאוֹ֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִ֔י וְכִבֶּ֧ס בְּגָדָ֛יו וְרָחַ֥ץ בַּמַּ֖יִם וְטָהֵ֥ר בָּעָֽרֶב:
and he shall cleanse him: This consummates his cleansing.   וחטאו ביום השביעי: הוא גמר טהרתו:
20If a person becomes unclean and does not cleanse himself, that soul shall be cut off from the congregation, for he has defiled the Sanctuary of the Lord; the sprinkling waters were not sprinkled upon him. He is unclean.   כוְאִ֤ישׁ אֲשֶׁר־יִטְמָא֙ וְלֹ֣א יִתְחַטָּ֔א וְנִכְרְתָ֛ה הַנֶּ֥פֶשׁ הַהִ֖וא מִתּ֣וֹךְ הַקָּהָ֑ל כִּי֩ אֶת־מִקְדַּ֨שׁ יְהֹוָ֜ה טִמֵּ֗א מֵ֥י נִדָּ֛ה לֹֽא־זֹרַ֥ק עָלָ֖יו טָמֵ֥א הֽוּא:
If a person becomes unclean…: If “Sanctuary” is stated [here], why need it say “ Mishkan …” [in verse 13]? The answer is that if it would say “ Mishkan,” I would say that the person is punished with excision only if he enters the Mishkan in a state of uncleanness because the Mishkan was anointed with the anointing oil, but if he enters the Temple in a state of uncleanness, he would not be punished since the Temple was not anointed with the anointing oil. If it would say,“Sanctuary,” denoting the Temple, I would say that only for entering the Temple in a state of uncleanness, would he be punished by excision because its sanctity is permanent, but for entering the Mishkan in a state of uncleanness, he would not be punished because its sanctity was temporary. Therefore, it was necessary to mention both,]… as it is stated in [Tractate] Shevuoth [16b].   ואיש אשר יטמא וגו': אם נאמר מקדש למה נאמר משכן וכו' כדאיתא בשבועות (דף טז ב):
21This shall be for them as a perpetual statute, and the one who sprinkles the sprinkling waters shall wash his clothes, and one who touches the sprinkling waters shall be unclean until evening.   כאוְהָֽיְתָ֥ה לָהֶ֖ם לְחֻקַּ֣ת עוֹלָ֑ם וּמַזֵּ֤ה מֵֽי־הַנִּדָּה֙ יְכַבֵּ֣ס בְּגָדָ֔יו וְהַנֹּגֵ֨עַ֙ בְּמֵ֣י הַנִּדָּ֔ה יִטְמָ֖א עַד־הָעָֽרֶב:
and the one who sprinkles the sprinkling waters: Our Rabbis said that the one who sprinkles is actually ritually clean, but this teaches us that the one who carries the purifying waters becomes defiled with a stringent uncleanness, for even the clothes he is wearing are contaminated, unlike the one who merely touches [the sprinkling waters]. Scripture uses the expression מַזֵּה, “the one who sprinkles” to teach that the waters do not contaminate until there is an amount of water adequate for sprinkling. — [Yoma 14a]   ומזה מי הנדה: רבותינו אמרו שהמזה טהור, וזה בא ללמד שהנושא מי חטאת טמא טומאה חמורה לטמא בגדים שעליו, משא"כ בנוגע. וזה שהוציאו בלשון מזה, לומר לך, שאינן מטמאין עד שיהא בהן שיעור הזאה:
and the one who touches… shall be unclean: but he is not required to wash his clothes.   והנגע וגו' יטמא: ואין טעון כבוס בגדים:
22Whatever the unclean one touches shall become unclean, and anyone touching him shall be unclean until evening.   כבוְכֹ֛ל אֲשֶׁר־יִגַּע־בּ֥וֹ הַטָּמֵ֖א יִטְמָ֑א וְהַנֶּ֥פֶשׁ הַנֹּגַ֖עַת תִּטְמָ֥א עַד־הָעָֽרֶב:
Whatever the unclean one touches: I.e., this unclean one who was defiled by a corpse [touches], “becomes unclean.”   וכל אשר יגע בו: הטמא הזה שנטמא במת יטמא:
and anyone touching: him, that is, the one defiled by a corpse-   והנפש הנגעת: בו בטמא מת:
shall be unclean until evening: From here we derive that a corpse is the supreme source of contamination, whereas one touching it is a primary source of contamination, who can in turn defile another person [through contact]. This is the explanation [of this passage] according to its literal meaning and the laws associated with it. I have transcribed a homiletic interpretation from the commentary of R. Moshe Hadarshan [the preacher], which is as follows: [2]   תטמא עד הערב: מכאן למדנו שהמת אבי אבות הטומאה והנוגע בו אב הטומאה ומטמא אדם, זהו פירושה לפי משמעה והלכותיה. ומדרש אגדה העתקתי מיסודו של ר' משה הדרשן וזהו:
and have them take for you: From their own [possessions]; just as they removed their own golden earrings for the [golden] calf, so shall they bring this [cow] from their own [possessions] in atonement. — [Midrash Aggadah]   ויקחו אליך: משלהם כשם שהם פרקו נזמי הזהב לעגל משלהם כך יביאו זו לכפרה משלהם:
a red cow: This can be compared to the son of a maidservant who soiled the king’s palace. They said, “Let his mother come and clean up the mess.” Similarly, let the cow come and atone for the calf. — [Midrash Aggadah and Tanchuma Chukath 8]   פרה אדמה: משל לבן שפחה שטינף פלטין של מלך. אמרו תבא אמו ותקנח הצואה, כך תבא פרה ותכפר על העגל:
red: Alluding to [the verse], “if they [your sins] prove to be as red as crimson dye” (Isa. 1:18), for sin is described as [being] ‘red.’ - [Midrash Aggadah]   אדמה: על שם (ישעיה א, יח) אם יאדימו כתולע, שהחטא קרוי אדום:
perfectly: An allusion to the Israelites, who were perfect, but became blemished. Let this come and atone for them so that they regain their perfection. — [See Midrash Aggadah.]   תמימה: על שם ישראל שהיו תמימים ונעשו בו בעלי מומין, תבא זו ותכפר עליהם ויחזרו לתמותם:
and upon which no yoke was laid: Just as they cast off from themselves the yoke of Heaven. — [Midrash Aggadah] [3]   לא עלה עליה עול: כשם שפרקו מעליהם עול שמים:
to Eleazar the kohen: just as they assembled against Aaron, who was a kohen, to make the calf, but because Aaron made the calf, this service was not performed through him, for the prosecution cannot serve as the defense. — [Midrash Aggadah] [5]   אל אלעזר הכהן: כשם שנקהלו על אהרן, שהוא כהן, לעשות העגל. ולפי שאהרן עשה את העגל לא נעשית עבודה זו על ידו, שאין קטיגור נעשה סניגור:
The cow shall then be burned: just as the calf was burned. - [Midrash Aggadah   ושרף את הפרה: כשם שנשרף העגל:
a piece of cedar wood, hyssop, and of crimson wool: These three types [of objects] correspond to the three thousand men who fell because of the [sin of the golden] calf. The cedar is the highest of all trees, and the hyssop is the lowest of them all. This symbolizes that the one of high standing who acts haughtily and sins should lower himself like a hyssop and a worm [for the תּוֹלַעַת means ‘worm’ as well as ‘crimson.’ See Rashi on Isa. 1:18], and he will then gain atonement. - [Midrash Aggadah] [9]   עץ ארז ואזוב ושני תולעת: שלשה מינין הללו כנגד שלשת אלפי איש שנפלו בעגל. וארז הוא הגבוה מכל האילנות ואזוב נמוך מכולם, סימן שהגבוה שנתגאה וחטא, ישפיל את עצמו כאזוב ותולעת ויתכפר לו:
a keepsake: Just as the transgression of the calf is preserved throughout the generations for retribution, for there is no reckoning [punishment] which does include a reckoning for the calf, as it says, “But on the day I make an accounting [of sins upon them], I will bring their sin to account…” (Exod. 32:34). Just as the calf defiled all those who were involved in it, so does the cow render unclean all those involved with it. And just as they were cleansed through its ashes, as it says, “[he] scattered [the ashes of the burned calf] upon the surface of the water” (ibid. 20), so [with the cow],“They shall take for that unclean person from the ashes of the burnt purification offering…” (verse 17). - [Midrash Aggadah]   למשמרת: כמו שפשע העגל שמור לדורות לפורענות, שאין לך פקודה שאין בה מפקודת העגל, שנאמר (שמות לב, לד) וביום פקדי ופקדתי וגו'. וכשם שהעגל טימא כל העוסקין בו, כך פרה מטמאה כל העוסקין בה, וכשם שנטהרו באפרו, שנאמר (שמות לב, כ) ויזר על פני המים וגו', כך ולקחו לטמא מעפר שריפת החטאת וגו':

Numbers Chapter 20

1The entire congregation of the children of Israel arrived at the desert of Zin in the first month, and the people settled in Kadesh. Miriam died there and was buried there.   אוַיָּבֹ֣אוּ בְנֵֽי־יִ֠שְׂרָאֵ֠ל כָּל־הָ֨עֵדָ֤ה מִדְבַּר־צִן֙ בַּחֹ֣דֶשׁ הָֽרִאשׁ֔וֹן וַיֵּ֥שֶׁב הָעָ֖ם בְּקָדֵ֑שׁ וַתָּ֤מָת שָׁם֙ מִרְיָ֔ם וַתִּקָּבֵ֖ר שָֽׁם:
The entire congregation: The complete congregation, for the ones destined to die in the desert had already died and these were assigned for life. — [Midrash Tanchuma Chukath 14]   כל העדה: עדה השלמה, שכבר מתו מתי מדבר ואלו פרשו לחיים:
Miriam died there: Why is the passage relating Miriam’s death juxtaposed with the passage of the Red Cow? To teach you that just as sacrifices bring atonement, so the death of the righteous secure atonement. — [M.K. 28a].   ותמת שם מרים: למה נסמכה פרשת מיתת מרים לפרשת פרה אדומה, לומר לך מה קרבנות מכפרין אף מיתת צדיקים מכפרת:
Miriam died there: She too died through a kiss [from God’s mouth rather than by the angel of death]. Why does it not say “by God’s mouth” [as it does with Moses]? Because it is not respectful to speak of the Most High in this way (M.K. 28a). Concerning Aaron it does say “by God’s mouth” in [the portion beginning] “These are the Journeys” (33:38).   ותמת שם מרים: אף היא בנשיקה מתה ומפני מה לא נאמר בה על פי ה', שאינו דרך כבוד של מעלה. ובאהרן נאמר על פי ה', באלה מסעי (במדבר לג, לח):
2The congregation had no water; so they assembled against Moses and Aaron.   בוְלֹא־הָ֥יָה מַ֖יִם לָֽעֵדָ֑ה וַיִּקָּ֣הֲל֔וּ עַל־משֶׁ֖ה וְעַל־אַהֲרֹֽן:
had no water: From here [we learn that] all forty years they had the well in Miriam’s merit. — [Ta’anith 9a]   ולא היה מים לעדה: מכאן שכל ארבעים שנה היה להם הבאר בזכות מרים:
3The people quarreled with Moses, and they said, "If only we had died with the death of our brothers before the Lord.   גוַיָּ֥רֶב הָעָ֖ם עִם־משֶׁ֑ה וַיֹּֽאמְר֣וּ לֵאמֹ֔ר וְל֥וּ גָוַ֛עְנוּ בִּגְוַ֥ע אַחֵ֖ינוּ לִפְנֵ֥י יְהֹוָֽה:
If only we had died: We wish that we had died. — [Onkelos]   ולו גוענו: הלואי שגוענו:
with the death of our brothers: With the death of our brothers from plague. This teaches us that death from thirst is more dreadful than it [death by plague].   בגוע אחינו: במיתת אחינו בדבר, למד שמיתת צמא מגונה ממנה:
with the death: Heb. בִּגְוַע אַחֵינוּ. This is a noun, like בְּמִיתַת אַחֵינוּ, with our brothers’ death [that is, in the way they died]. But it is incorrect to explain it as meaning, ‘ when our brothers died’ for in that case, Scripture would have punctuated it בִּגְוֹעַ.   בגוע: שם דבר הוא, כמו במיתת אחינו, ולא יתכן לפרשו כשמתו אחינו, שאם כן היה לו להנקד בגוע:
4Why have you brought the congregation of the Lord to this desert so that we and our livestock should die there?   דוְלָמָ֤ה הֲבֵאתֶם֙ אֶת־קְהַ֣ל יְהֹוָ֔ה אֶל־הַמִּדְבָּ֖ר הַזֶּ֑ה לָמ֣וּת שָׁ֔ם אֲנַ֖חְנוּ וּבְעִירֵֽנוּ:
5Why have you taken us out of Egypt to bring us to this evil place; it is not a place for seeds, or for fig trees, grapevines, or pomegranate trees, and there is no water to drink.   הוְלָמָ֤ה הֶֽעֱלִיתֻ֨נוּ֙ מִמִּצְרַ֔יִם לְהָבִ֣יא אֹתָ֔נוּ אֶל־הַמָּק֥וֹם הָרָ֖ע הַזֶּ֑ה לֹ֣א | מְק֣וֹם זֶ֗רַע וּתְאֵנָ֤ה וְגֶ֨פֶן֙ וְרִמּ֔וֹן וּמַ֥יִם אַ֖יִן לִשְׁתּֽוֹת:
6Moses and Aaron moved away from the assembly to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, and they fell on their faces. [Then] the glory of the Lord appeared to them.   ווַיָּבֹא֩ משֶׁ֨ה וְאַֽהֲרֹ֜ן מִפְּנֵ֣י הַקָּהָ֗ל אֶל־פֶּ֨תַח֙ אֹ֣הֶל מוֹעֵ֔ד וַיִּפְּל֖וּ עַל־פְּנֵיהֶ֑ם וַיֵּרָ֥א כְבוֹד־יְהֹוָ֖ה אֲלֵיהֶֽם:
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